Digital Aesthetic3: The latest and best digital art at the Harris Museum

By Richard Moss | 05 October 2012
a film still of a man's face stretched as in a funny mirror
Takahiko Iimura, from A I U E O NN, (1993/2012)© the artist
Exhibition Preview: Digital Aesthetic, Art in a Digital World, Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston, until January 5 2013

The way artists respond to digital tools and technologies is, by the very nature of the medium, something that seems to develop at a pace that far outstrips other more conventional forms of contemporary art.

For some, absorbed by the possibilities of digital, it has become much more than merely a means of delivery. For others it is just a tool to be used as part of wider practice focussing on established yet expanding mediums such as photography and film.

This mix of experimention with new technologies and and a desire to push the boundaries of the day is revealed at the Harris, with this intriguing group show that forms part of their Digital Aesthetic³ 2012 (DA3) international conference.

Takahiko Iimura is a good example of a veteran avant garde filmmaker whose roots are in celluloid and analogue, but who has embraced the manifold possibilities of digital technologies.

His multi-screen touch panel installation and projection piece Interactive: A I U E O NN, (1993/2012), is a new interactive game version of an earlier work A I U E O NN Six Features (1993) and is both playful and responsive to the digital world around us.

Peter Callas, an Australian artist who is fascinated with notions of cultural identity, focuses on the process of digital print with his Postscript, which takes a Pinterest style manipulation of a 14th century fresco from Pisa’s Camposanto Monumentale to connect different periods of time.

In a similar vein UK based Terry Flaxton looks at some classic imagery – notably the photographs of Ansel Adams – and re-imagines them through high resolution photo technology.

The medium is again to the fore in the work of Mark Amerika, whose web-based artwork, The Museum of Glitch Aesthetics, revels in the limitations and the aesthetics of digital technology.

With a new commision from the highly performative and humorous short film-makers Harrison and Wood and a cerebral examination of authorship, money and security in the modern world courtesy of Sophie Calle also on show, this a welcome opportunity to explore digital contemporray art without getting too caught up in the mode and the method.

  • Digital Aesthetic3 2012 is a collaboration between the Harris Museum & Art Gallery and the Electronic & Digital Art Unit at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
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